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Proof Ellen White was inspired. A study of qahal and edah.

Q10: Does Ellen White record the correct Hebrew meanings for church, assembly and congregation?

(16) : "Qahal" : Assembly.

(17) : "Edah" : Congregation.

Hypothesis: How does Ellen White uses the Ancient Hebrew terms for Qahal and Edah?


Strong's 6951. "Gathering"

The Ancient Hebrew reads �Over horizon Behold the Shepherd�s authority�.

Strong's 5712. "witness"

The Ancient Hebrew reads �See the door. Behold!�

This Hebrew word has verb and noun forms of the same spelling, showing the same meaning of the word but depending upon the actions completed or not completed. The verb form means to "gather" the uncompleted action, while the noun form means "gathering" the completed form. These English words are better meanings for this word because they reflect the same but similar meanings in their spelling and final form, rather as Jeff translated the word as "flock".

Notice the other word, "See through the door. Behold the person", relates to a witness seeing the door of salvation opened to Him/her and relating to this as a remnant witness of active faith. The gathering on the other hand is a larger flock of people, some may have active faith and others not.

1T.050.003 Elder Brown neither then nor afterward severed his connection with the Christian Baptist Church, but was looked upon with great respect by his people. When he had finished speaking, those who desired the prayers of the people of God were invited to rise. Hundreds responded to the call. The Holy Spirit rested upon the assembly. Heaven and earth seemed to approach each other.

{CCh 324.2} I say to all: Be on your guard; for as an angel of light Satan is walking in every the assembly.of Christian workers, and in every church, trying to win the members to his side.

{RH, November 8, 1906 par. 8} "For we are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more (for they could not endure that which was commanded. And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake): but ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Notice Ellen White uses the term "qahal" as "large gathering" "assembly" and "church" correctly. All these words have the same meanings. Thus the term "church" existed in Moses time, and is NOT a New Testament concept.

Testing the meaning of "edah" as congregation or witness or both.

(CTr 119.4) Those who bore the discouraging report and brought discouragement to the whole camp of Israel, when opposed because of their unfaithful witness, served the satanic powers in complete rebellion. And they carried the disappointed congregation with them, in that they believed their interpretation of the land.

  • The congregation took the wrong side, and, inspired by satanic agencies, they cried out against the faithful spies, and bade t hem stone Joshua and Caleb, who dared to bear the truthful representation in regard to the land. {CTr 119.5} But there is always a defense provided for those who have borne witness for the truth. What was it that saved the lives of Joshua and Caleb?
  • And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.. . . {CTr 119.6}

    The same priests who condemned the leper to banishment certified his cure. This sentence, publicly pronounced and registered, was a standing testimony for Christ. And as the healed man was reinstated in the congregation of Israel, upon the priests' own assurance that there was not a taint of the disease upon him, he himself was a living witness for his Benefactor. {DA 265.4}

    It was evident that the sympathies of the people were with the disaffected party; but Moses made no effort at self-vindication. He solemnly appealed to God, in the presence of the congregation, as a witness to the purity of his motives and the uprightness of his conduct, and implored Him to be his judge. {PP 399.4}

    Ellen White writes the term congregation as a picture of one who is a witness.

    Testing the meaning that the word congregation is a word smaller in meaning than church which is a large gathering.

    The house is the sanctuary for the family, and the closet or the grove the most retired place for individual worship; but the church , is the sanctuary for the congregation,. {FLB 189.3}

    Ellen White writes a simile here, the house is a simile for a church, and the single family a simile of a congregation.

    When we arrived at the camp ground at Groveland, Mass., we found an excellent meeting in progress. There were forty-seven tents on the ground, besides three large tents, the one for the congregation being 80 x 125 feet in dimensions. The meetings on the Sabbath were of the deepest interest. The church was revived and strengthened, while sinners and backsliders were aroused to a sense of their danger. {LS 225.2}

    There is an understanding here in just two examples that "church" is a "large gathering", while "congregation" is a "smaller number of witnesses".

    Testing the meaning of "edah" and "qahal" from Scripture quoted by Ellen White in recorded messages.

    To the church in the wilderness also, in the time of Moses, God gave His "good Spirit to instruct them." Nehemiah 9:20. And in the days of the apostles He wrought mightily for His church through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

    Soon after the encampment at Sinai, Moses was called up into the mountain to meet with God. . . . Israel was now to be taken into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High--to be incorporated as a church and a nation under the government of God. The message to Moses for the people was: ". . . if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exodus 19:4-6). {AG 135.3}

    Ex 19:17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount

    What is sad is there is no "qahal" (church) word in Exodus 17 through to 20, as if God was tied already of His people becoming a church grathering. However the word "encampment" is found in Ellen White writings and the Exodus account.

    Ex 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

    Here is the closest verse to "church" "qahal", at the Mt Sinai experience. Ellen White writes that GOD wanted to make the camp of people into a church gathering, but they grumbled from as far back as Exodus 16.

    Testing the meaning of "church" as a "gathering" by Ellen White in recorded messages.

    The work of gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute, is the very work which every church that believes the truth for this time should long since have been doing. Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 276. {ChS 188.1}

    Let the Los Angeles church have special seasons of prayer daily for the work that is being done. The blessing of the Lord will come to the church members who thus participate in the work, gathering in small groups daily to pray for its success. Thus the believers will obtain grace for themselves, and the work of the Lord will be advanced. {Ev 111.3}

    Conclusion:In the various ways these words are used, the Holy Spirit continues to carry the same Ancient Hebrew meaning in the Old Testament across into the New Testament, and even into modern church times as shown under Ellen White's messages.

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